Written by: Carlos Diaz (cd29975)

During the Cuban Revolution, which began the 26th of July in 1953, asymmetric warfare reflected a social structure of distressed peasants who were willing to join Fidel Castro’s revolutionary movement. Alongside Castro was the famous Argentine Ernesto Guevara. Both men were leaders of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution sought to end the system of capitalism within Cuba, most notably put an end to the exploitation of poor farm workers. Castro and Guevara employed Guerrilla warfare tactics to fight the regime of the former Cuban Fulgencio Batista. The smaller revolutionary army employed asymmetric warfare to defeat the U.S. backed government that presided over Cuba at the time. In result asymmetric warfare used in the Cuban revolution reflected a social structure of Cuban peasants that could not longer live in the shadows of a corrupt Cuban elitist class.

The agrarian workers during the Batista regime suffered from harsh working conditions, illiteracy, lack of healthcare. On top of these inequalities many landowners of Cuba were taking advantage of the agricultural laborers by paying them low wages that did not compensate the laborers work. The Revolution began when a group of 82 men, among them Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Fidel Castro, arrived to Cuba from Mexico. Fidel Castro and many of these men were rebels, political prisoners who had been exiled from Cuba. In the early days of the Revolution, Guerrilla warfare tactics were employed in the Cuban mountainside. Later the war was taken into the heart of the country. Asymmetric warfare allowed a small group of revolutionaries to fight a centralized government in Cuba. By attacking the Cuban army when they least expected and successfully retreating after victories and and defeats, the “guerilleros” were able to move into the heart of the country and successfully claimed the major Cuban cities.

The asymmetric warfare used by the members of the July 26th revolutionary movement in Cuba ended the regime of Fulgencio Batista. The tactics of attacking when least expected, recruiting members of the peasantry, where some of the elements of the asymmetric warfare employed by the July 26th revolutionary. The asymmetric warfare that was used reflected an outnumbered but fervent social structure of dissidents. If the opposition was larger in numbers since the beginning of the Cuban revolution there would have been no need for guerilla warfare. Since the opposition began in low numbers and grew moderately as the revolution went on, asymmetric warfare proved to be more beneficial for the social structure of Cuban rebels since the methods employed by Batista’s men were conventional. The asymmetric warfare in Cuba at his time also reflected a distressed peasant class that could gain a form of military experience and fight for a new type of government that could help the Cuban working class.